As a mother of toddlers, Santa is a year-round ORDEAL. Wish lists are an ongoing thing … especially when I remove the toys that frantically get thrown in the Target cart and remind my kids that Christmas is coming in (fill in the blank here) months and that the removed toys would be great things to put on their lists.
Then November hits and I start to panic. My kids’ year-long lists are endless and I don’t want them to be disappointed on Christmas morning. So… what do I do? I start managing their expectations! (Stay with me– this will relate 100% to your online marketing in exactly two paragraphs).
You know as well as I do that Santa is a busy guy … he has to get to an awful lot of kids in one night and his sleigh is only so big. Naturally, I explain that to my kids and start having them think about what they really want. Then we start really honing in on one or two gifts. By Christmas morning, it’s all smiles when Santa brings those one or two things. Yay for happy endings!
Before you get too excited, though, don’t forget to think about how this could have ended. If I hadn’t managed expectations for two months preceding Christmas, only one or two gifts from Santa could have ended in a lot of tears.
One of the most overlooked functions in marketing, especially online marketing, is managing expectations from the beginning. Clients regularly ask me how to respond to negative comments or bad reviews online, and my answer is always to avoid them before they happen by managing expectations.
This is done by getting to the root of customer satisfaction based on the benefits they will experience rather than giving a bunch of guarantees based on features (I know, I know I am a broken record but it really is about the benefits, not the features). And the advantage to this is that not only does focusing on the benefits shorten the length of your sales cycle, it also does an excellent job of managing expectations. Benefits are harder to measure and highly personal for each individual… it’s hard to make a bad review out of something that can’t really be measured.
For specific examples of this, and a deep dive of how to apply it to your own marketing, be sure to watch today’s video.
… I also touch on relationship building online, and show you how it can completely change the mood of your ideal customers by combining it with managing expectations.
Bottom line: Instead of satisfied customers, shoot for satisfied friends, and you won’t have to worry about those pesky negative comments or bad reviews anymore.